The Merrimack Conservation Partnership (MCP) announced the 2017 recipients of its third round of Land Conservation Grants, which help underwrite conservation projects that protect the ecologically important Merrimack Valley Watershed region of New Hampshire and Massachusetts. In the latest grant round, the MCP awarded grants totaling $75,450 to seven projects that will conserve a total of approximately 647 acres of land. The total value of the land to be protected in the latest grant round is conservatively estimated at $1.1 million.
In 2010, the Merrimack was identified by the US Forest Service as the most threatened watershed in the nation in terms of projected loss of private forest land over the next 20 years. The two-state region of the Merrimack Watershed spans a total of 2.1 million acres and 3,275 square miles of which 54% is in NH and 46% in Massachusetts. The Merrimack River starts in Franklin, NH and flows through eight of NH’s largest cities, then continues into Massachusetts to its mouth at Newburyport.